In Tilly Tonka’s factory there is a rhyming room. There are rhyming sweeties, which you all must consume. Choose a sweet, pop it in – try not to dribble down your chin!
Then you must test its power, you’ve not a lot of time, to see if it is working. Will it make you speak in rhyme? There will be lots of puzzles and the more you solve, you know, the more the magic rhyming juice will gradually flow.
And if the rhyming sweet is working and your words are taking shape, then the key code comes by magic, and you’ll make your great escape. The Rhyming Room is ready, you need to go through there… just watch the Oompa Loompas don’t catch you unaware…
You have 70 minutes. The clock is ticking…
When we started day nine of our escape room roadtrip, we hadn’t actually planned to stop by One Way Out in Oakham. But we got out of the three games in Escapologic Leicester earlier than planned so we contacted them and they were able to fit us in. Of course, one room is never enough so we ended up booking and playing four games at One Way Out.
On what was a ridiculously hot day, we had already played Robot’s Return and Framed so next up was Rhyming Room. We knew nothing about this game, then again, we didn’t know much about their other games either. While we were sitting outside to try and cool off before attempting Rhyming Room, we couldn’t help but hear the jingle from Rhyming Room repeating – our first insight as to what this room may be about.
One Way Out is in an old office building just outside of central Oakham, it’s really convenient to get to and has both plenty of parking on site and toilets for teams to use. Unfortunately on a hot day, the building seems to act a bit like a greenhouse so we were rather drained by the end of it all and very much ready for a shower, but One Way Out kindly kept us well hydrated throughout our stay.
Once we had taken a short break after the first couple of games, and eaten our cake (yes, we got cake in Framed), we headed back upstairs and prepared for our game. Because health and safety hadn’t changed from the previous games, we didn’t need to go over that again, instead we just had the story briefing from our GM, Tessa. Tessa then disappeared and was replaced with Tilly Tonka who would give more of the story.
Tilly’s intro was really rather impressive and set the tone well. She only spoke in rhyme and how on earth she remembered everything, I’ve no idea! As part of the story we had to eat a sweet in order to gain entry into the room, which normally we wouldn’t have worried about too much, but in a pandemic, taking an eating an unwrapped sweet from a plate filled with sweets made us a bit uncomfortable. If they were individually wrapped we would have been less cautious, but unwrapped was not ideal.
Covid-19 Procedures: track and trace was available and plentiful hand sanitiser was available to use. We did see another team in the venue, but we were never close to them. We wore masks and staff also wore face coverings, although we were encouraged to remove masks for photos, and to wear props (we played in May 2021)
As you may have guessed by the name ‘Tilly Tonka’, this is indeed a room inspired by the world of Willy Wonka. This room is very lighthearted, well lit, and I have no doubt that this is likely to be a family favourite as it really would be appropriate for all ages.
We often play escape rooms and you see the things that take the most time to make, props, painting etc.. Those rooms have got nothing on Rhyming Room, I have never seen a room with so many hand made items, and not just hand made, knitted! This room must have taken an eternity to sort out everything.
Without getting too hung up on the ‘little things’, this room had a lot going on and at times it was hard to know what was needed for a puzzle and what was set dressing. Saying that though, at no time did it feel like these items were red herrings, we quickly dismissed them and were able to focus on everything else.
The space wasn’t massive but could easily accommodate teams of probably four players without too much fuss (more if they’re small players). We played a team of two, and one particular puzzle really would require more people than that, but One Way Out put in a nice workaround without breaking the immersion at all.
We enjoyed this room, we’d have probably enjoyed it more if we played on a cooler day, but that’s not the fault of One Way Out as they did try their hardest to cool it down in there. One little attention to detail which was very much appreciated, was that there was music playing which added to the atmosphere, but it wasn’t on repeat. It was good to have it every now-and-then to take away the silence, but we may have gone crazy if it was on repeat.
I would guess that this room has been designed to appeal to mostly families, the story, some of the puzzles, and the general feel of the game just feels really well suited to family groups. Don’t get me wrong, enthusiasts will likely have a good time, but totally take your kids along too! Thanks to this approach of making it family friendly, there was really good sign-posting on everything, so we always knew what went where, without being overly spoon-fed.
Most of the puzzles resulted in combinations to padlocks, so there were a fair few of them, but opening them was never laborious, and thanks to that signposting, it was easy enough to know if we had got something right. One or two things were triggered by the GM, this type of puzzle is not our favourite but many people will likely get a kick out of it.
Rhyming Room had a good variety of puzzles including; maths (basic), observation, pattern recognition, searching, and perhaps a bit of logic and wordplay. The puzzles were well suited so that they were challenging enough for enthusiasts but equally achievable for less experienced teams.
One puzzle in particular was a lot of fun, unfortunately it was over pretty quickly (although it could take much longer) but it entertained us and spiced up the room a bit. I guess it would be classed as a ‘physical’ puzzle, but not much physicality was required.
We loved a good clue system, and One Way Out provided a clue system that fitted the theming of the room perfectly. I could talk about it but in a way this is an integral part of the room, so I’d prefer to just say ‘it was good’ and let you experience it for yourself. When a clue was provided, there was an audible sound so you knew it was on its way.
If this first clue system wasn’t enough to get you back on track, there was a secondary system where they could just chime in over the speaker system – but I think they prefer not to use this unless they really have to.
Tessa did a great job as our GM and was keeping a close eye on our progress. If she could see we had missed something, or simply forgotten something we had found, she chimed in perfectly before any frustration set in. At one point we experienced a padlock malfunction, and she was quick to appear with bolt cutters to get things going again. These things happen and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it, but how it is handled makes all the difference, and she handled it perfectly.
This room will most definitely be a family favourite. If you’re in the area and are looking for a game to play with the family, then this is it. Likely to be fun for all ages and experience levels, Rhyming Room is worth it, even if it’s just to be impressed by Tilly Tonka’s intro!
Team: 2 players – escaped in 48 mins
Address: ROL House, Long Row, Oakham LE15 6LN